18 mos

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 2 Comments

10-17-2011; Aquarium of the Pacific. Wearing Laelia's outfit #10

Last Monday was Laelia’s half birthday! It was also the third birthday of our friend, Miss Isabella. We spent the day with her parents and her grandmother at the Aquarium of the Pacific. It seemed Laelia thought the benches were cooler than the fish (they make a nice echoing sound when you pound on them), but she did pet a bamboo shark which definitely makes her braver than me!

At 18 months, Laelia:

- runs. It’s kind of stompy, but it qualifies.
- makes adorable attempts at jumping; I think she gets one foot off the ground now.
- has a few more dance moves in her arsenal.
- makes Lego sculptures with her duplo blocks.
- does puzzles with large pieces.
- “talks” on mom or dad’s phone.
- loves Hello Kitty. I blame her HK print cloth diaper. We were in Buffalo Exchange the other day, and while I was talking with the buyer who was appraising my clothes, I hear Laelia say “Ho! Hoooo!”. I was like “Ho? What? Where is there Hello Kitty in this store?!”, and there she was as a backpack on a hook. Laelia had real tears when I started explaining that we have to say bye bye to Ho. Our first fit for an item I wouldn’t buy her!
- loves Mickey & Minnie. I blame Disneyland (which she has been to maybe 20 times already). :D
- climbs on her rocking horse by herself, and then rocks back and forth laughing hysterically.
- has slept a total of 5 nights in her crib until the morning!
- walks to the pantry, opens the door, finds her crackers and eats them (if the rubberband is not on the door).
- climbs on the kitchen table and gets a banana from the bowl. Sits on the  table trying to peel the banana herself until she whines for me to do it, and I exclaim “what are you doing on the table!” (again).
- asked me “why?” after I told her not to drink the bathwater when she was in the tub one night last week. I’m pretty sure she didn’t understand what it meant, but I almost cried anyway.
- breastfeeds about every 2 days. I’m wondering if she’s weaning and I have mixed feelings about it. I wanted to go until 2 years, and it’s great having breast milk around for all of it’s health properties.
- draws on any surface in the house with any writing utensil she can get her hands on. Thank goodness for the magic eraser! But it’s especially adorable when she lies on the floor and colors in her coloring books and kicks her feet. *swoon* Artist mommy can’t take away crayons.
- comes to me after injuring herself in the slightest way for me to kiss her boo-boo.
- eats mostly fruits; loves eggs, potatoes, noodles, crackers, string cheese, and yogurt, sometimes loves artichokes, and occasionally will eat bread. Cries if you put the raspberries or blueberries away.
- still insists on feeding herself. She even spoons her own yogurt and soup, and forbids anyone to hold her spoon for her. An independent spirit if I ever saw one (but why does it not apply to falling asleep?!).
- picks out a dress and brings it to me. Sometimes I end up with a pile on my lap. It’s especially funny when she does it before I get out of bed and I open a bleary eye to a dress being shoved into my face.
- holds up one finger when you ask her “one?”.
- gives the most giant nods to confirm she wants something. I seriously wonder if she throws her neck out.
“Laelia, do you need your diaper changed?”
- correctly points to anything mentioned in the song “Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes”, with a bonus of “teeth”, “elbow”, and “eyebrow”.
- when you ask her to say “please”, she touches her knees. (See above)
- climbs into my desk chair, grabs my stylus pen and plays with it on my tablet. She scores 100 cute points for this, but there is an annoyance penalty every time I’m on my hands and knees searching the floor for the only stylus pen I have left that works.

- says:

“Jee” (Jaymee)
“Lala” (Laelia)
“Ho!” (Hello, or Hello Kitty)
“Mimme!” (Mickey or Minnie)
“Duh” (Duck)
“Uh-oh, fell!”
“NO!” :(
“Pee!” Sometimes it’s “uh-oh, pee!” and a point to the floor. >_>;
“Bebe” (baby)
“BeeBee” (Blueberry – not to be confused with “baby”!)
“Eye” — and then she pokes you in the eye. Hard.
“Wadda-wadda-wadda” (Water)
“MOLE!” Tyler has a couple of moles on his shoulder that Laelia loves to pick at, so he explained that they are moles and not to pick them because it hurts. Two days later we were in Porto’s (cake!) and she exclaims “MOLE!!!”. The woman in front of us had a mole on her shoulder. The woman turned around smiling and began to talk to Laelia “Nooo? Are you saying nooo?!”. Yay for mishearing!

I’m sure I’ll remember more later, but that’s enough for now! :)
Happy half birthday my LO!

100th Post; 100 Goals

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 7 Comments

Well, this is my 100th post! Wow! I’m a little surprised. I officially started this blog in March of 2010, and now a little over a year and a half later, here I am with 100 posts under my belt. Part of me is a little disappointed I only have 100 posts over a year and a half (1 post for every 5-6 days), but another, bigger part of me is happy that I have kept up with it! I feel like I have learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of achieving while maintaining this little blog. I’ve always been what I refer to as a “cynical optimist”. I expect (and therefore am not surprised by) the worst, but I am steadfast in my hope for the best. So while I hoped to be blogging more often, I am happy I didn’t let it fall by the wayside!

To commemorate my 100th post, I’d like to write a list of 100 goals, big and small, that I would like to accomplish by my 200th post. Being a reasonable woman, I don’t expect to accomplish all of these goals, so I’m going to say I’d like to accomplish 80 of them.


  1. double my posting rate: I’d like to hit my 200th post by July 21, 2012. I would need to have 2-3 posts a week in order to meet that goal. I’ve been capable of doing that in the past, so I’m feeling good about being able to achieve this goal.
  2. add a prints/patterns portfolio
  3. add an apparel graphics portfolio
  4. add a wood toys portfolio
  5. add a web graphics portfolio
  6. add a general graphics portfolio 
  7. add an invitations portfolio
  8. add a photography/photo editing portfolio (?): I don’t exactly consider myself a photographer, but I sure do plan, take, and edit a lot of photos! Maybe I need to include this in my portfolios…
  9. add an illustrations portfolio
  10. add a painting portfolio
  11. redesign my portfolio section; add some neat functionality: Hubs would have to get on board for this; his new career goal is to get into interaction design, and I want him to apply what he’s been learning to my website in general, but I think my portfolio is a great place to start!
  12. start a recipes category: I’ve been thinking about this for a while! I don’t think it would be a super regular feature, but there are a few recipes I’d love to document.
  13. consider a tips category
  14. add more tutorials
  15. change the features section (I hate it)
  16. update about section (add photos)
  17. increase readership in an authentic way
  18. categorize more efficiently
  19. add tags to posts that have no tags
  20. make graphics for categories
  21. finish my header/logo already!
  22. consider featuring what I wear (might help with the “get back in shape” goal): I already feature Laelia’s outfits, but I have a passion for and a lot to say about women’s fashion as well.  My first blog I briefly authored in 2007 focused on women’s fashion a bit more, as I was so inspired by other fashion blogs out there. I’d love to get back in touch with that part of myself. :)
  23. complete room tours
  24. birthday boards category: Laelia’s first birthday board is very popular, and I loved making it. I would love to make more boards for general inspiration purposes! I think I’ll also take suggestions for boards, or perhaps make custom boards for a small fee.
  25. become more active in the blogsphere: I should totally be cultivating friendships with other bloggers across the land, but I’m not. I don’t think I’m doing my part. Mostly, it’s because I can barely time find to blog myself, let alone read other’s blogs. Also, although I am a confident person, I don’t say something unless I think it needs to be said (this is internet comments only), and I’m pretty reserved when it comes to self promotion, so I find myself reluctant to comment on things often (which is ironic, considering how much I write here). But following other bloggers is something I really want to and should do, and I should make time for it. I also think I should participate in more events.


More photos after the jump

Yo Tengo Mas Ombre

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 4 Comments

I know this is not a blog about beauty, really, but about my creative endeavors. Well, this post is about where those subjects cross…

Don’t know enough about me yet? Here’s more background!:
When I was in junior high, maybe even sixth grade (my sixth grade was in elementary school), I wanted to dye my hair funky colors but my parents never let me. In fact, I specifically remember a friend’s mother referring to me as “the girl with the normal colored hair”. Truth be told, I’m happy my parents never allowed me to dye my hair. I probably have healthy, manageable hair that will pretty much obey my every command today because I was never allowed to go down the dying my hair path. I don’t shell out hundreds of dollars every month on salon services and product. I wash my hair every two days with shampoo and conditioner from Trader Joes, and I’m told that I’m lucky that’s all I need. The most I put in my hair is a little hairspray on my bangs.

I started highlighting my hair when I was 22, when I first started going to a real salon. Before that I just flipped my head upside down, cut at a straight line for easy layered action, and I just trimmed my bangs myself. I … I am really lazy about my hair mostly. So, although I do get a partial weave now, it is one or two shades lighter than my natural color, and I can totally go with out having my hair done for 6 months. It’s awesome. I can’t deal with having to keep up with my hair, or with nails, etc. It’s partially due to my naturopathic leanings, laziness, but mostly I like it low-maintenance. Also, I enjoy my natural hair color. It’s not quite blonde, not quite brunette. Usually I just say dark blond/light brown (When I was a kid I said “dirty blonde”, but I’m no longer fond of that expression). I have a hard time matching it to any wigs or colored bobby pins, etc. I have a natural ombre! Well, it was more prominent when I was a child, and I spent 4 days minimum a week at the beach each summer–this lightened my hair annualy. Now I don’t go to the beach as often, but the two days we went to the beach this year did noticeably lighten my hair… Anyway, since the sun bleaches out my hair every summer, the hair that grows in the winter is left to be my natural darker color, and then the next summer the hair that was lightened last summer gets even lighter, etc. Since my hair has been waist length pretty much my whole life, I have some hair that has probably seen 6 or maybe even seven summers…. so it is the lightest. Anyway, enough with my hair background… onto the point.

At age 7 on the left, with very noticeably blonder tips. Sailing away at age 4 on the right! Always the same hair style! lol...

The watercolors I painted for reference.

I have been kinda digging the whole ombre hair trend for a couple of years now. And when my friend Jaymee came over with her hair freshly done, I was in LOVE, but I didn’t think about doing anything to my hair. Then I noticed I keep pinning hair with pink tips on my pinterest board hair delights and it hit me–I can do my tips and I won’t damage my natural hair color, and it won’t be something I have to maintain. Moreover, as Jaymee and I share a friend who is also our hair stylist, I know my hair stylist is going to totally rock it–I have the utmost trust in her abilities. This woman just gets hair. (Her name is Robyn, she might be the most beautiful girl I know, and she works at a salon in Thousand Oaks. She’s looking for more clientele in Silver Lake, so if you are interested, feel free to send me an email for info). I painted a watercolor of what I was thinking so she would have a better idea of what I wanted, and then I just had to wait until we could afford to have it done… which apparently was over 4 months, since I know I thought of this as my summer style, and here we are mid-October. Oh well!
I finally have my fun hair color, half my lifetime later. Yay!

Living + Workspace; Built-in Sketches

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 9 Comments

So, we are still having a hard time deciding how exactly to approach our faux built-in wall. We have 3 ideas, all featuring IKEA furniture:

Plan #1: Built-in Billys

cost: $380 (estimated; furniture only)

We already have 2 tall Billys in here, with extension units at the top. This plan would ideally include the new 15″ deep billy which is supposed to be released this month. We would use two short deep billys in the center, and then two short standard depth billys on top of them. We absolutely need a deeper space for things like the printer and my artbins. Since there is about five extra inches, we plan to use some inexpensive chair rail moulding to fill in the gaps. Tyler also came up with an excellent idea to install the library lights! The extension units come with an extra shelf we don’t plan on using, so we will cut them in half and install them vertically above the extension unit, and have the library lights mounted onto each piece. We would buy a narrow rectangular dining table (likely a something from CL that needs a little TLC), and use it as a desk that sits in the middle of the room.  I would probably frame an extra large (think like 6ft tall) cork board covered in grasscloth to go on the left wall.

The pros of this set up are: ample storage, easier to connect the iMac to the projector, and easy conversion to a dining area that doesn’t scream “I work here” when the computer is moved off the dining table/desk. Also, I keep being drawn to this in photos; I think it is the most sophisticated look of them all, and I think that’s something I am going for here.
The cons of this set up are: wiring issues, and lack of wallspace (which is something I really want), potentially no drawers, seeing the back of the iMac when you walk in the door.

Plan #2 Built-in Desk

cost: $237 (estimated; furniture only)

This plan is the cheapest and probably would happen most quickly. It is a workspace table top and a couple of table legs resting on top of the BESTA unit we already have. Annoyingly, a full BESTA set up won’t work in this space as it is about 1.5″ too wide. The top unit is an EFFEKTIV wall unit, and under it is a single shelf spanning the width of the space between the two billys. I’d install some of our bookcase lights under the shelf for a more lighting, and have a framed corkboard under that.

The pros of this set up are: ease in hiding wires, more table top workspace, not seeing the back of the iMac when you walk in the door, least expensive, utilizes the BESTA.
The cons of this set up are: The iMac and the printer would take up a significant amount of room on the table top, and for some reason, I feel like it lessens the sophistication of the look.

Plan #3; Built-in Effektiv + Billy

cost: $ 750 (estimated; furniture only)

Ah! Expensive. Plan #3 includes the two Billys with extension units that are present in the other plans, with EFFEKTIV units on the floor and wall in between them. A dining table turned desk is pulled out in the room.

The pros of this set up are: Drawers, wallspace.
The cons of this set up are: Expense.

Once IKEA releases those deeper billy bookcases, I think we’ll have a better idea of the ultimate cost and the possibilities of what we can do here. I’m going a little nuts waiting!

Living + Workspace Series:
• (09/15/11) Living + Workspace Layouts
• (09/29/11) The Midas Touch ← mood board
• (10/04/11) Building Our Own Coffee Table
• (11/11/11) Living + Workspace Update
• (11/14/11) Bookcases
• (11/22/11) Painting a Projector Screen
• (03/30/12) Before + After: Antique Lamp
• (04/06/12) Before + After: Front Door
• (06/19/12) Living + Workspace: Current Layout and Mood
• (06/20/12) Living + Workspace: A Revealing Update

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